“The 20th century was the century of the image (...).
To tell Henri Cartier-Bresson’s story and to unravel his work is essentially
to tell the story of a look.
Throughout the 20th century, this roaming, lucid eye has captured the fascination of Africa in the 1920's, crossed the tragic fortunes of Spanish republicans, accompanied the liberation of Paris, caught a weary Gandhi just hours before his assassination, and witnessed the victory of the communists in China.
Henri Cartier-Bresson was also Jean Renoir's assistant on three major films, an artist who sees himself an artisan but who nevertheless established Magnum, the most prestigious of all photo agencies, and who immortalised his major contemporaries : Mauriac in a state of mystical levitation, Giacometti, Sartre, Faulkner or Camus, and as many more all taken at the decisive moment, all portraits for eternity."